IDP Positional Snaps Played By Role
The following graphs display the top twenty in snaps played by position, it highlights how the NFL positional leaders in snaps played are lining up. It can also help bring context to the quality of snaps played, or snaps with potential for fantasy points. In this next group of graphs I'm going to focus on the defensive side of the ball. I will be examining the top twenty linebackers, defensive lineman, edge rushers, safeties and cornerbacks in snaps played in 2019. Looking for anything that stands out or any statistical anomalies, that may be beneficial to your IDP dynasty team. I will be highlighting players with a potential for a higher success rate positionally.
The inside linebacker snaps played graph which is displayed below is broken down into four categories, total snaps played, run defense snaps, coverage snaps, and pass rush snaps. There are some distinct differences between many of the linebackers in regards to how they are spending their time on the field as you can see. The average linebacker on the graph plays roughly 1/2 of there snaps in pass coverage (54.0%). Essentially this entire top twenty group played 1000 total snaps. Which is encouraging in the sense that there are nearly two dozen every down inside linebackers currently in the league.
The interior defensive lineman snap count chart looks very consistent among DL snap leaders. The leaders in total snaps averaged 496.3 pass rush snaps or 60.4%, essentially rushing on just under two thirds of snaps played. With a run defense average rate of just over one third of their total snaps played (38.9%). Meaning that this group of NFL snap leaders among interior defensive lineman only dropped into coverage on less than 0.7% of their snaps. It's not uncommon for very few or even no interior lineman to reach the coveted 1000 total snaps. This year no interior lineman reached that mark which tells me that the majority of teams are rotating more to keep the big men on the D-Line fresh.
The edge rushers snap count chart is pretty much as expected with the exception of the significant number of coverage snaps played by some of the outside linebackers. Four players in the top twenty in total snaps played exceeded 100 pass coverage snaps. Harold Landry (102), Preston Smith (148), Devon Kennard (140), and Leonard Floyd (126), with the average among the group being 56.9 coverage snaps. Of the leaders in snaps played only three cracked 1000 total snaps, with only five players having 600 or more pass rush snaps, the average for this group was 555.7 pass rush snaps. Every player on the graph was between 253 and 393 run defense snaps, which is quite consistent, with the average being 342.8 run defense snaps. There really aren't any surprises when it comes to the names on the edge rusher snaps leader board, as it's littered with elite annual Pro Bowl players.
When it comes to the safety snap count chart one of the first things that stand out is that everyone on the list played over 1000 total snaps, with 30 safeties overall playing over 1000 snaps in 2019. The average for coverage snaps played for the group was 664.5 snaps, while averaging 418.9 snaps in run defense. Only 2.8% of safety snaps were played in a pass rushing scenario, 37.6% of total snaps were in run defense with coverage snaps accounting for 59.6% of safety snaps played among this group. Snaps don't always equate to fantasy points when it comes to the safety position. As many free safeties that play the "center fielder" role simply won't accumulate significant stats due to role, regardless of playing time.
The first thing that stands out is that nearly every cornerback snap leaders played over 1000 total snaps, with 19 CB's playing over 1000 snaps in 2019. This group of cornerbacks averaged 399.1 run defense snaps which was 37.3% of their total snaps played last season. In 2019 they averaged 62.0% of their total snaps played in pass coverage collectively averaging 663.9 snaps dropped back into coverage. As is the case with safeties, snaps don't always guarantee stats or fantasy points for obvious reasons. Teams are certainly going to play there top corner nearly every single down and for good reason. It doesn't take rocket scientist level intelligence for offensive coordinators to figure out that throwing the ball at a teams top corner rather than a teams second or third best corner simply doesn't make sense. There are many examples of a teams number one CB playing every defensive snap of a game but accumulating a zero stat line due to the simple fact that a team game planned that particular corner essentially right out of the game.